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Brain-Boosting Smoothies for Senior Nutrition

By Jennifer WegererMarch 19, 2015
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Seniors may not eat as much as they used to, but they still need proper nutrition to keep their bodies strong, to prevent serious diseases and to ward off memory loss.

A healthy diet feeds your body inside and out, and eating well should be a part of your routine no matter what your age. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association describes how brain-healthy foods increase blood flow to the brain, reducing risks for Alzheimer’s disease and helping prevent heart disease and diabetes.

What Foods Boost Brain Function?

Studies have shown that dark-skinned fruits and vegetables such as kale, spinach, beets, blueberries, raspberries and cherries contain high antioxidant levels and help protect brain cells. To increase fiber and healthy fat intake, add flaxseed, chia seeds and coconut oil to the menu. There has been a lot of buzz lately, in particular, about the potential for coconut oil to fight dementia and improve memory.

Healthy, flavorful smoothies are a great way to pack these memory-boosting foods into your diet. Try some of the smoothie recipes below, or experiment with some ingredients until you come up with a blend that suits your palate.

5 Brain-Boosting Smoothie Recipes

1. Blueberry Brain-Boost Smoothie

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 fresh, ripe banana
  • 1 and 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts, preferably soaked and drained

Directions: Combine the apple juice and banana in a blender. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Serves two.

2. Banana-Coconut Smoothie

  • 1 cup milk (hemp almond, rice or organic 1% cow’s milk)
  • 1 frozen banana, slightly thawed
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend well. Serves one.

3. Green Tea and Blueberry Smoothie

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 green tea bag
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 and 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 3/4 cup calcium-fortified light vanilla soy milk

Directions: Heat the water until steaming. Add the teabag, and steep for three minutes. Remove the teabag, and stir in the honey. Blend the tea and remaining ingredients on your blender’s highest setting until smooth. Serves two.

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4. Flaxseed Smoothie

  • 1/2 frozen banana, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla soymilk

Directions: Place all ingredients into a blender. Puree until smooth. Serves one.

5. Sweet Peach Smoothie

  • 1 and 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1 ripe peach, peeled, pitted and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup ripe banana, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla yogurt
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed oil

Directions: Combine all ingredients except the honey and flaxseed oil in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and puree briefly to incorporate them. Serves one to two.

What are your favorite smoothie recipes for senior nutrition and brain health? Please share your comments below.

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Jennifer Wegerer